Hamlet Was Right

Polonius. What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet. Words, words, words.

— Hamlet, Act II, scene ii

There is no place to hide … if you pick up a newspaper these days you are likely to see it. And if you go online, you will find it there too. Two words. “Social Media”. These two words sit uncomfortably together like ex-lovers.

Shakespeare...universalKevin Rothermel has an excellent rant on the growing focus and interest in this social media beast. He points out that there are plenty of people clogging up the various social media streams with noise and announcements:

Wading through this mess, day-in and day-out, it has become apparent that these folks think they have figured marketing out.  They will say things about how tools like Twitter will be “the only corporate communications vehicle in the future.”  Anything that doesn’t take place on social media is old school, and people that work in agencies don’t get it.  (which is only true some of the time)

But as Kevin suggests, the potential of social media is not about the unwritten rules, recipes for success or even the championing of one communications vehicle over another. It is about the fundamental human desire to connect – to share, be interesting, and be found interesting by others. And the more that advertising in any form works to take advantage of the Auchterlonie Effect – whether that be a movie, TVC or some conversation buzzing through the web – then the more interesting, inspiring and RELEVANT it will be to us all.

It’s not the dead words that inspire us to action. It’s the way they are spoken, owned and embodied.

2 thoughts on “Hamlet Was Right

  1. The internet (and especially the social parts of it) function on a gift economy. Henry Jenkins makes the fantastic point that people don’t pass along branded messages because they like the brand, they pass along branded messages because of how it will make the recipients feel about them. Will people like me more if I share this with them? Will it help me to fit in? Will they think I’m cool? etc.
    Henry Jenkins and his team at MIT have written a fantastic series called “If It Doesn’t Spread, It’s Dead.” (it’s epic, but totally worth the read). In Part 4 (of 8) he lays out the difference between commodity culture and the gift economy.

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